Popular Images of American Presidents

Front Cover
William C. Spragens
Greenwood Publishing Group, 1988 - History - 625 pages


The contributors to this volume examine the popular images of twenty-two American presidents. They attempt to determine the public standing of these presidencies and consider each president in terms of his image over time. It is argued that fluctuations in succeeding generations' interpretations of past presidents are significant to understanding the kaleidoscopic nature of presidential images. A variety of analytical approaches is employed, including examination of historical narrative, content analysis of editorials and news coverage, and explication of public opinion survey data. For public reactions and the reactions of other leadership figures, the contributors have drawn from the contemporary press as well as from the writings of historians and political scientists. This collection of essays will open avenues of thought on American political history anb shed new light on the character of past presidents. It will be indispensable to those engaged in the study of political history and political science.

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Contents

GEORGE WASHINGTON
1
THOMAS JEFFERSON
25
ANDREW JACKSON
45
ABRAHAM LINCOLN
65
RUTHERFORD B HAYES
103
GROVER CLEVELAND
129
WILLIAM McKINLEY
145
THEODORE ROOSEVELT
183
HARRY TRUMAN
385
DWIGHT D EISENHOWER
409
JOHN F KENNEDY
435
LYNDON B JOHNSON
475
RICHARD M NIXON
497
GERALD R FORD
521
JIMMY CARTER
537
RONALD REAGAN
561

WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT
209
WOODROW WILSON
237
WARREN GAMALIEL HARDING
265
CALVIN COOLIDGE
295
HERBERT HOOVER
323
FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT
345
CYCLES IN THE PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF PRESIDENTS
585
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
605
INDEX
609
CONTRIBUTORS
619
Copyright

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Popular passages

Page 80 - At the same time the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court the instant they are made, in ordinary litigation between parties in personal actions, the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.
Page 57 - The duties of all public officers are, or, at least, admit of being made, so plain and simple, that men of intelligence may readily qualify themselves for their performance...
Page 72 - And this issue embraces more than the fate of these United States. It presents to the whole family of man the question whether a constitutional republic or democracy — a government of the people by the same people — can or cannot maintain its territorial integrity against its own domestic foes.
Page 7 - You would have thought the very windows spake, So many greedy looks of young and old Through casements darted their desiring eyes Upon his visage ; and that all the walls With painted imagery had said at once " Jesu preserve thee ! welcome, Bolingbroke ! " Whilst he, from one side to the other turning, Bareheaded, lower than his proud steed's neck, Bespake them thus, — " I thank you, countrymen : " And thus still doing, thus he pass'd along.
Page 81 - These measures, whether strictly legal or not, were ventured upon under what appeared to be a popular demand and a public necessity ; trusting, then, as now, that Congress would readily ratify them.
Page 244 - This is not a day of triumph; it is a day of dedication. Here muster not the forces of party but the forces of humanity.
Page 245 - His is the only national voice in affairs. Let him once win the admiration and confidence of the country, and no other single force can withstand him, no combination of forces will easily overpower him.
Page 3 - And let me conjure you, in the name of our common country, as you value your own sacred honor, as you respect the rights of humanity, and as you regard the military and national character of America, to express your utmost horror and detestation of the man who wishes, under any specious pretences, to overturn the liberties of our country ; and who wickedly attempts to open the flood-gates of civil discord, and deluge our rising empire in blood.
Page 72 - I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I cannot remember when I did not so think and feel, and yet I have never understood that the Presidency conferred upon me an unrestricted right to act officially upon this judgment and feeling.
Page 79 - You seem, in pages 84 and 148, to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions — a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps.

About the author (1988)

WILLIAM C. SPRAGENS is a Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where he taught from 1969 to 1986.

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